Confidence and Intensity defines how Owls shortstop Nick DelGuidice approaches the game every time he steps on the ball field.
DelGuidice was an accomplished junior college player in just one season with Lake Sumter Community College and was tabbed as one of Baseball America's top prospect.
DelGuidice a Sophomore, was part of the Florida Atlantic talented 2009 recruiting class.
Brought in to help fill a void left by accomplished player Nick Arata, DelGuidice recognized that he had big shoes to fill. Not only did DelGuidice settle in, "we did not miss a beat" according to Coach McCormack.
"Having DelGuidice around has been a pleasure. He has a very good understanding of the game and enjoys being out there," Coach Mac said. "He has the ability to play at a high level, at all times. The energy he brings is amazing."
DelGuidice's emergence might have caught some by surprise, but Coach Mac mentioned that he has been one of the most consistent players offensively since the opening of camps. Armed with a ton of confidence, DelGuidice is not one to shy away from the preparation and work required to help him preform at the highest level on a daily basis. There remains an unselfish attitude about DelGuidice and he makes it clear that he is here to help the team first.
DelGuidice knew the history of the program successes and recent drought of not having played in a NCAA Regional since 2005. He understands what was expected from him when he arrived in Boca Raton to play for the Owls.
He also knows the quality of player he was asked to replace. When asked if he felt any additional pressures, he answered: "you come out and help the team, by doing the best you can."
Not relying on past successes, DelGuidice knew there was room for improvements. With defense being one of his strongest assets, he started to focus on doing extra work on the offensive side of the ball.
"The off-season workout in the weight room has helped me out offensively by allowing me to get stronger," said DelGuidice. Combined with the drive to be one of the best, it's no wonder he became one of the most dependable hitters for the Owls this season.[caption id="attachment_1295" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Photo: FAU Media Relations"][/caption]
Coach Mac mentions that DelGuidice "wanted to come here, made the commitment and has done everything that was asked of him."
So what drives and motivates a player like DelGuidice?
DelGuidice answered, "it's to get better everyday and when you look at guys around the country, you want to be at the top notch with the other shortstops across the country and you see the recognition they get. I want to be up there with them."
Beaming with confidence, DelGuidice has a sense of humility about him that allows him to be at his best every time he steps on the diamond and modestly states: "you come in, day in and day out, and you play to the best of your ability."
Right before his first game as an Owl, he mentioned the shaky feeling he felt. Could it have been the pressure of replacing a star player? Or having to preform in front of the larger contingent of family members gathered to watch him play his first game as an Owl?
Whatever the reason, DelGuidice quickly brushed away those early jitters and had himself a heck of a ball game, just inches of going 4-4, hitting a line drive just foul down the left field line.
The Owls went on to win the game to give Coach Mac his first victory as a Division I coach after being an assistant to Coach Kevin Cooney for 18 years.
The Owls lost many quality players at the end of the season due to graduation, but if Coach Mac can some how round-up a few more players like DelGuidice, then the Owls will surely be back on a road leading to a Regional somewhere in the near future.
DelGuidice by the Numbers
For the 2009 season DelGuidice managed a .321 batting average - 72 hits, 17 doubles, 6 home runs with 38 RBI's while sporting a .478 slugging percentage and a .356 on base percentage.